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The Top of the Standings

Monday, April 13, 2009

Setting Goals: Softball Edition

Setting goals has long been considered one of the best ways to push yourself and have some accountability for your work. Whether it is personal finance goals, familial goals or professional goals, goal setting is great way to work your way towards what you desire to achieve or accomplish.

So why stop with just those buckets? Why not set athletic goals for yourself or your team?

And since your softball season is probably just about to get underway, now is a perfect time to set these goals. As with any set of goals, it isn’t enough to just create the goals, but you have to review them as well to ensure you are sticking to them. To that point, after creating your goals, print them out and put them in your bat bag, if you have one, or in another spot where you will be reminded of them before each game.

Also, set realistic and attainable goals, but make sure they will push you. If you led your team in home runs last season, you won’t want to set a goal to just lead your team in home runs again, but rather you will want to hit 5 more home runs than you did last year. Likewise, if your team won the championship for the past several years, setting a goal of first place may not be enough, how about an undefeated season, or a season in which you win every game by 6 or more runs.

To get you started, I have included some goals that you may want to jot down or try to reach. But since each goal should be meaningful to each individual, feel free to customize or modify the list to your particular situation.

As with the list below, it is a good idea to have three buckets of goals: Team Goals, Individual Batting Goals and Individual Fielding Goals.

  • STANDINGS. Since each team is different, for some this goal may be to win the championship, while for others it may be to not finish in last place. Maybe you want to strive to finish in the upper half of your division.
  • WIN STREAKS. If winning three games in a row would be considered an accomplishment, set a goal to do that. If going undefeated is a goal, write it down. Maybe you just don’t want to LOSE two games in a row.
  • PERFECT GAME. What if you hit safely each at bat in a particular game? Would you consider that an accomplishment? The mark it down. Maybe you wan to hit safely in two straight games?
  • CYCLE. Every hit for the cycle? Can you? Of course you can if you set a goal to do so.
  • PERSONAL BESTS. How many home runs did you hit last year? How many doubles? How may triples? If you know, or can roughly guess, set a goal to eclipse that stat this year.
  • JOE DIMAGGIO. Set a goal to hit safely in every game this season. Too easy? How about two hits in every game. How about an RBI in each game?
  • DOUBLE PLAY. Are you an infielder? Can you turn two? Set a goal to do so. If that is too easy, try and turn one every other game, or every game.
  • ASSIST. If you are an outfielder, what about setting a goal to record an outfield assist?
  • FUNDAMENTALS. If you have been criticized about your fundamentals (throwing to the wrong base from the outfield, not knowing how many are on and throwing to first when you could have gotten the lead runner) try and become more of a thinking on defense. Set a goal to always know where to go, and given the chance, go there.
  • ERRORS. Are you known for your five-hole? Try and set a goal not to commit an error in two consecutive games, or maybe for an entire season.

So those are just some of the goals you can set for yourself for this season. Modify them as you see fit, but remember that if you do create a list to review it before every game in order to keep yourself honest.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

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